(Business Journal) The U.S economy shrank at a greater-than-expected 6.1 percent, the second-consecutive quarter with a decline of more than 6 percent as the nation remains firmly in the grasp of the global recession.
The current quarter coupled with the 6.3 percent decline in fourth-quarter 2008 – the biggest drop in 25 years – created the worst economy over a six-month period in 50 years, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Thomson Reuters analysts expected the economy to shrink 5 percent in the first quarter, according to Associated Press.
Businesses cut expenses, from buying equipment to software, and U.S. exports dropped to the lowest level in four decades during the January through March quarter, giving little hope that the recession will ease this year.
The announcement comes after consumer confidence increased 2.2 percent, the biggest jump since 2007, a bit of optimism dashed by these economic figures.